Painted Ladies on Parade
This butterfly, known as a Painted Lady, landed on some shrubs near the Carlsbad Flower Fields for a sip of nectar on its way north from Baja to the desert. It is just one of millions heading north and expected to reach San Francisco and beyond before settling in.
They are eating along the way and laying eggs, so there should be another explosion of them in a few months. I first noticed them a few days ago when a dozen of them kamikazed into my car windshield as I was cruising down the freeway. At first I thought they were Monarch butterflies, but then I heard a story about them on NPR radio which described them as Painted Ladies.